How come Republicans only care about deficits when a Democrat's in office?

First, the Republican hypocrisy. I hope you are aware by now that they don’t actually care about deficits. They just care about money being spent on things they don’t like, which outside of overpriced ships the Navy probably doesn’t need and more reinforced steel for the border fence includes pretty much everything. If, say, instead of seeking to spend more money for transportation, Barack Obama had proposed cutting the top marginal tax rate down to 8 percent, well, that would have had a completely disastrous impact on future deficits. But you wouldn’t have seen Republicans complaining about that, because the rich deserve more of their money back.

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You also didn’t see Republicans complaining about deficits when George W. Bush was running them up. Oh, a few did. But the protests were infrequent and mousy. By and large, Republicans shuffled along. It is astonishing, isn’t it, to think back on the prescription-drug benefit from 2003. An unfunded, roughly $500 billion expansion of socialized medicine (Medicare), and Tom DeLay kept the floor open for three extra hours so that the small number of Republicans who tried to take the Republican position on this could be browbeaten into voting with the White House. That episode, engineered by DeLay, was as close as we’ve come to legislative fascism in this country in a long, long time, both in the sense of the strong-arm tactics used and in the way it posited that day is night and black is white.

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